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Travel snapshots: Otherworldly landscapes
PIHA Finds Evidence of Ghost at the Chehalis Museum
Lewis County in southwest Washington can truly be called the “mother of counties.” Half of the present-day Washington and of British Columbia were carved from its original borders. But the county’s location astride the Cowlitz Trail between the Columbia River and Puget Sound meant that communities with good water access would develop first. The construction of the transcontinental railroad in the 1870s and innovations in logging technology were the major spurs to settlement.
Native Americans calling themselves Chehalis and Meshall lived along the banks of the Chehalis River. The river people made their livings from the annual runs of salmon as well as from nuts, berries, and tubers gathered from the land. Four months of fishing was often enough to sustain families and tribes for a year and there was little need to hunt or trap animals for food. Tribe members also gathered berries and tubers from the forest and prairies.
In 1850 New York native Stuart Saunders settled at what would become Saundersville and then Chehalis. E. D. Warbass called his claim at Cowlitz Landing Warbassport, which would later become Toledo. During the Indian War of 1855-1856, settlers constructed blockhouses at Grand Mound Prairie and on the Chehalis, but there were no violent confrontations in Lewis County.
Chehalis, the seat of Lewis County and long a commercial center for area /Vaughn/Documents/My Web Sites/piha/WA/Chehalis/Images/chehalis_1900s.jpgfarmers and loggers, grew out of claim settled in 1850 by Schuyler and Eliza Saunders near the confluence of the Newaukum and Chehalis rivers. Known then as Saunders' Bottom because of its marshy ground it would soon become Saundersville and later renamed Chehalis. Another settler, E. D. Warbass called his claim at Cowlitz Landing Warbassport, which would later become Toledo. During the Indian War of 1855-1856, settlers constructed blockhouses at Grand Mound Prairie and on the Chehalis River, but there were no violent confrontations in Lewis County.
Chehalis gained footing as a town once the Northern Pacific Railroad established a depot there in 1873. Over the years, local residents have built a town with a varied economy, relying on logging, mining, farming, small industry, retail, and residents and businesses that Interstate 5 brought to town. Adaptation to changing circumstances has been a strength of the community, particularly in the last 50 years as the economy has experienced a fundamental shift away from relying on natural resources. Note that the name Chehalis was given to a Washington county organized in 1854. In 1915 that county was renamed Grays Harbor County.
History of the Chehalis Train Depot:
The Lewis County Historical Museum is housed in the historic, 1912 turn of the century, Northern Pacific Railway Depot. The Northern Pacific Railroad (NP) reached the Chehalis River in 1872 from Kalama on the Columbia and the line reached Tacoma the following year. Today it is operated by the Lewis County /Vaughn/Documents/My Web Sites/piha/WA/Chehalis/Images/Yesteryear-Chehalis Train Station.jpgHistorical Society; it is dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Lewis County, Washington.
The Chehalis Western purchased trackage from Milwaukee Road on a portion from Chehalis to Raymond line in 1936 and operated it as non-common carrier Chehalis Western Railroad. The line bought was 18 miles from Chehalis to Dryad. This line was not needed any more by the Milwaukee Road as it operated over a nearby Northern Pacific branch line. The Chehalis Western used only the first nine miles of this trackage from Chehalis to Ruth. A new line was built south from Ruth to Camp McDonald to where timber was ready to be cut. The logs would be taken from Camp McDonald to a log dump at South Bay near Olympia. In late 1975 the line was cutback to Curtis where a log reload was built. This truncated railroad was reorganized into the Curtis, Millburn and Eastern on December 1st, 1975. The logs were now taken from Curtis to Chehalis where they were handed over to the Milwaukee Road. When the Milwaukee Road abandoned all of its trackage west of Miles City, Montana the Curtis, Millburn & Eastern Railroad was absorbed into a new Chehalis Western. The former Milwaukee Road route to South Bay was taken over by the new Chehalis Western. The Chehalis-Centralia Railroad Association was formed in 1986 as a nonprofit corporation. The founders were a group of local citizens whose goal was to restore a 1916 logging locomotive that had been placed in a Chehalis park thirty years earlier. Early the following year, the restoration was begun and over the next two years, several railroad cars were acquired. With restoration completed, scheduled operations began in the summer of 1989 over a/Vaughn/Documents/My Web Sites/piha/WA/Chehalis/Images/Today-Chehalis Train Station.jpg section of former Milwaukee Road track in the Chehalis-Centralia area. The Chehalis Western then shut down in 1992. The entire line was sold to the City of Tacoma in 1995 and renamed the Tacoma Eastern Railroad. It lasted just three years when in 1998 the railroad was taken over by Tacoma Rail.
PIHA, Paranormal Investigations of Historic America (www.pihausa.com ), was created specifically for paranormal investigations of public historic sites and museums that have a history of paranormal activity. PIHA is in the process of creating a series of DVD's that feature thehttp://ads.associatedcontent.com/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a14de4a9&cb=1088916417 museums, public historical sites and communities in Washington State. There are three regions in Washington State that will be featured. The first region is "Western Washington", the second is "The Olympic Peninsula" and the third region is "Eastern Washington".
PIHA is made up of a small group of experienced, dedicated paranormal investigators who have a passion for history and an interest in the phenomena of the possible existence of paranormal activity. Our approach, equipment and procedures for paranormal investigating is primarily based on the use of technologically advanced electronic equipment and scientific logic in obtaining evidence of possible paranormal activity.
On behalf of the volunteer paranormal investigators of PIHA, I invite you to experience Washington State's amazing historical sites and museums like never before. Through our process of networking with local historical societies, museums and registered, public historical sites, PIHA hopes to encourage public interest in Washington State's exciting history and the process and technology utilized in scientific paranormal investigations.
PIHA was created with two goals in mind:
1. PIHA hopes to bring Washington State’s history to life by attempting to obtain significant evidence of these strange occurrences. Utilizing the latest in today's electronic technology and dedicated paranormal investigators, we are accomplishing this objective, one public historical site at a time.
2. PIHA wants to stimulate additional interest in residents and visitors to Washington State's fascinating history. Our goal is to encourage individuals, families, schools and community organizations to visit these (and other) historical locations for a better understanding of our state's history and the people who made it and maybe have a personal paranormal experience along the way!
PIHA is not out to prove or disprove the existence of possible paranormal activity, but to publish any significant evidence collected at an investigation. Many people who think that something paranormal exist, physics and logic can debunk. That said, occasionally PIHA obtains evidence that neither physics nor logic applies. When this occurs, we classify it as paranormal evidence and let each individual decide for himself what to believe or not believe.
Wherever your travels in Washington take you, best wishes for a "Trip to thehttp://ads.associatedcontent.com/www/delivery/ck.php?n=a14de4a9&cb=1626035140 Extraordinary".